Mental health is a driving factor in employee attitudes about labor and their role in the workplace, according to a massive survey of more than 12,000 employees conducted by analytics firm Gallup and HCM company Workhuman.
Employers lose out on approximately $20 million for every 10,000 workers dragged down by poor mental health and draining workplaces, researchers found.
Their solution? Shout out employees for their hard work. According to researchers, recognition mitigates burnout, which leads to better worker wellness. Long term, this approach leads to increased productivity and improved performance, the report said.
It’s also a retention tactic; employees who feel safe and nurtured are more likely to stick with their company. For every 10 people, at least one feels their workplace is toxic, according to a September feature from MIT Sloan Management Review. Earlier this year, the same researchers found that a toxic workplace is 10 times more likely than insufficient compensation to drive workers away.
A prior Workhuman and Gallup collab — published in May, drawing on a survey of thousands of employees in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe — revealed a recognition gap. For example, a majority of managers and business leaders reported giving their workers recognition a few times a week. Meanwhile, the same data suggested only 40% of workers receive recognition a few times a year (or less) from managers, supervisors or other company leaders.
And only one-fifth of those surveyed “strongly agree” that their organization has a system in place to acknowledge work milestones.
Methods aside, it’s key to note the sweet spot for worker recognition. Gallup’s data indicates that receiving recognition a few times a month, from both supervisors and peers, is the right amount.
Workhuman and Gallup make the case: Employees who feel like they don’t belong are up to 5 times more likely to be perusing job boards and 12 times more likely to be disengaged, period.
Fostering a strong culture of inclusion, belonging and recognition may be an antidote for poor engagement — which in turn, addresses some instances of quiet quitting.
“For a long time, employee wellbeing was oftentimes considered a ‘bonus’ or ‘nice to have’ for organizations looking toward significant growth and financial success,” Workhuman CFO Scott Dussault said in a September press release. “Times have changed.”